An Advanced Past Lives System

Version 2.1 (August 7, 1995)
by Liam Routt

This revised method for generating Nephilim past lives is intended to add more detail to characters' backgrounds, and in that way foster the creation of more fully rounded characters. This method is more complex than the system provided in the rules, in that more effort and die rolls are required for each past life. For that reason it will not suit all styles of play.

Procedure Overview

  1. Pay 2 Ka for incarnation

  2. Select Simulacrum

  3. Generate characteristics
    STR, CON, DEX, CHA: 3D6
    INT: 2D6+6
    Solar-Ka: 3D6

  4. Generate starting age
    2D8 x 5 + (1D10 - 5) years

  5. Determine starting skills
    distribute (Age x 5 + INT x 10) points

  6. Acquire skills
    automatically gain Life Experience and a Spoken language
    roll under each other skill to acquire

  7. Determine Ka gain
    gain 2D4 Ka

  8. Calculate span of incarnation
    (Ka Gain x 10 + 1D10 - 5) years

  9. Spend experience
    distribute (Span of incarnation x 5) points

  10. Determine cause of death and Ka loss
    Ka loss: 1D6, 1D8, 1D10 or 2D6

  11. Optionally attempt to reincarnate in same period
    cost 1 Ka; roll Ka x 3%

Detailed Procedure

Pay 2 Ka for incarnation

Each incarnation costs 2 Ka, no matter what.

Select Simulacrum

Tables are provided for each past life. A Simulacrum can be selected or rolled randomly, as desired. Other Simulacrum are permitted, pending Gamemaster approval. Similarly, historical figures are possible, with Gamemaster approval.

Generate characteristics

The Simulacrum characteristics must be generated. STR, CON, DEX, and CHA are all rolled on 3D6, INT is rolled on 2D6+6. Solar-Ka may be similarly determined, rolling 3D6. Note that influencial Simulacra might have a higher Solar-Ka, perhaps generated as 2D6+6, or even set by the Gamemaster or player. Other methods of determining characteristics are also possible (rolling different numbers of dice and adding different values), and can be used with Gamemaster approval.

Generate starting age

The Simulacrum's starting age is rolled on 2D8 x 5 + (1D10 - 5). This is the age at which the Simulacrum encounters the Nephilim. An inappropriate age might be changed by agreement of the Gamemaster and player. In certain situations the age may simply be selected (particularly when dealing with historical figures). Also consider and settle upon the date of the start of the incarnation, if it is significant (Which of the Crusades did the Nephilim live through ?).

Determine starting skills

Assign the skills possessed by the Simulacrum before the arrival of the Nephilim. Skills can be selected from the lists provided, or from a list agreed upon by the Gamemaster. In general, however, no Occult skills should be obtained. Distribute points equal to: Age x 5 + INT x 10. Each point purchases a single percentage in a single skill. Restraint should be used in assigning skills, and no skill should be permitted above 80% without Gamemaster approval.

Note that a bonus of Age is added to the relevant Life Experience and a Spoken language skill (player's choice, if more than one is available).

Acquire skills

The Nephilim may not retain all of the Simulacrum's knowledge when it next incarnates. The Nephilim can only gain experience in the skills that it obtains from its Simulacra, and those that it set about to learn for itself.

The Nephilim automatically gains the relevant Life Experience skill, and the primary Spoken language skill. A roll must be made for each of the other skills possessed by the Simulacrum. An acquisition attempt is successful if the player can roll under the skill in question. Note which skills are acquired. If the Nephilim already possesses a skill, only the higher value is retained, the lower value is lost.

Determine Ka gain

As long as it possesses at least one occult technique (or develops on during the incarnation), the Nephilim gains 2D4 Ka each life, as the result of ongoing training and research. Consider this as an aggregate value, the result of both gains and losses during the course of the incarnation.

Calculate the span of the incarnation

The length of the incarnation, from the time of Nephilim arrival, is: Ka Gain x 10 + (1D10 - 5) years. This reflects a link between the length of the incarnation and the amount of Ka gained. Some Gamemasters may not want to stress that link quite so obviously, and may wish to substitute a roll of 1D8, or 2D4, or even 2D6, for the Ka Gain in the formula.

Spend experience

While the Nephilim is with the Simulacrum, it is the Nephilim that gains experience. The only skills witch may be raised, there fore, are those the Nephilim has previously obtained, or those it sets about to learn on its own. The Nephilim may also choose to spend some of its experience on obtaining occult techniques and inscribing spells it has learnt.

The Nephilim gains a number of experience points equal to the length of the incarnation x 5.

The experience points can be spent in a number of different ways:

Consider what the Nephilim achieved during the incarnation, and where it gained its experience. In particular, Nephilim who have learnt more than 10% in an occult technique, or inscribed any spells, should identify any teachers or fellow Nephilim researchers they may have worked with.

Determine cause of death and Ka loss

Determine what the Nephilim did during the incarnation, and where it lived. Most of the published Past Lives have a set of questions which can be used as a starting point for personalizing the incarnation.

The first incarnation is often extremely important for Nephilim, as that first Simulacrum can provide a basis for all of their lives to come. A careful and complete understanding of that first Simulacrum, and the attitudes that the Nephilim obtained from that incarnation can prove to be more important than selecting the stasis object, and who helped create it. Similar effects may be the result of incarnations that are crucial turning points in the Nephilim's existence (e.g. for some, Akhenaton's reign in Egypt changed their focus and direction). The events in a minor incarnation can also have a lasting effect, though, and a player may find the personality of a Nephilim changing quite dramatically during generation, if the time is taken to consider each life carefully.

The Stasis Event table can be used to provide some indication of how the incarnation ended. The nature of the Simulacrum's death, together with details of the life it shared with the Nephilim, can be used to guide the Gamemaster in determining how many Ka points were lost at death, or as the result of the battles or dangers the Nephilim had to face. It is recommended that a roll be made to determine Ka loss. The Gamemaster should choose the dice to roll, from a minimum of 1D6, to 1D8, 1D10, or 2D6 Ka.

Some Sample Ka losses

To be added.

Optionally attempt to reincarnate in same period

The Nephilim may wish to avoid returning to stasis at the end of the life. Such an attempt costs 1 Ka, regardless of its success. A roll of Ka x 5 is required to avoid returning to stasis, in which case a new Simulacrum is selected (usually randomly). It may be that the following life is short, if the previous life was ended when a society tracked down the Nephilim, at the Gamemaster's discretion. Note that the new Simulacrum incarnation costs an extra 2 Ka, as noted above, for a total of 3 Ka if the reincarnation attempt is successful.

Additional References and Notes

Back to Liam Routt : Nephilim

Version August 15, 1995 / Liam Routt /